The Straits Times
Published on Dec 04, 2012

Wall Street sours on weak domestic factory data


NEW YORK (REUTERS) - United States (US) stocks struggled to extend the previous week's gains, dropping on Monday as disappointing US factory numbers dampened optimism about China's economic growth.

The declines broke a three-day streak of gains for the S&P 500, keeping it shy of its 50-day moving average of about 1,420, a level that the index has been below since Oct 22, and now serving as a key resistance point for investors.

Manufacturing activity in the US surprisingly contracted in November, the Institute for Supply Management said, dropping to its lowest level in more than three years.

Economic data has been mixed in recent months, fanning worries about the pace of growth at a time when investors are already concerned about the "fiscal cliff" issue in Washington.